Nappanee Old Order Amish Settlement (Nappanee, Indiana, USA)

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1957 Article

The Old Order Amish settlement in Kosciusko, Marshall and Elkhart Counties was started around 1850 by families moving from Holmes County, Ohio, and also from the Amish settlement in eastern Elkhart County-Lagrange County.

In 1954 it consisted of 10 districts (congregations) with a total of 607 members, Nappanee being the largest trading center. In 1940 Bishop Burkholder led a schism which joined the Beachy Amish group, but which failed to secure more than a small following.

About 1875 a progressive Amish congregation was formed from Old Order Amish background with a meetinghouse erected in 1877 on West Market St. in Nappanee, now General Conference. In the 1950s many of the members of this congregation as well as of the North Main St. Mennonite (Mennonite Church) congregation are of Amish background. In 1940 a Beachy Amish congregation (Burkholder) was formed near Nappanee, and in 1954 a Conservative Mennonite congregation (Bethel), also near Nappanee. -- Harold S. Bender

1990 Update

The Old Order Amish settlement of Nappanee, IN is located in Elkhart, Marshall, and Kosciusko Counties in northern Indiana. This community was first settled about 1848 by Amish families from Holmes and Wayne Counties, Ohio, and later joined by a number of settlers from the larger Lagrange-Elkhart settlement 25 miles (40 km.) away. These two northern Indiana settlements were parallel from the beginning. Even though families were related and acquainted, by 1986 they had not filled in the 10-mile (16 km.) gap that separated the communities. Amish in these areas were in full fellowship with each other facilitating the frequent interaction between the two groups.

The Nappanee settlement has seen several divisions resulting in the establishment of the First Mennonite Church (General Conference) and a large part of the North Main Street Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church). In 1940 the Burkholder Amish congregation (later affiliated with the Beachy Amish Mennonite) was the result of a minor division. Amish families also established the Conservative Mennonite congregation (Bethel) in 1954. In 1986 there were 19 Old Order Amish church districts (congregations) serving approximately 3,000 people.

Amish Acres, a restored Amish farm one-half mile (1 km.) west of Nappanee has become a large tourist attraction. -- Samuel L. Yoder

2017 Update

In 2017 the settlement had an estimated 43 church districts with an estimated population of 5,910.


“Twelve Largest Amish Settlements, 2017.” Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College. June 2017. Web. 31 August 2017.

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Samuel L. Yoder
Date Published August 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Samuel L. Yoder. "Nappanee Old Order Amish Settlement (Nappanee, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2017. Web. 31 Jul 2021.,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=154154.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Samuel L. Yoder. (August 2017). Nappanee Old Order Amish Settlement (Nappanee, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 July 2021, from,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=154154.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 228; vol. 5, p. 616. All rights reserved.

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